WACKER attaches considerable importance to fostering young scientific talent and maintaining close contacts with universities. Our researchers are frequently invited to give presentations and guest lectures at universities, and university groups visit our sites for an inside look at work in an industrial corporation. Students can write their bachelor’s, master’s and doctor’s theses at WACKER, work as interns with the company or take vacation jobs. In 2019 and 2020, we sponsored some 240 final thesis projects and internships with students at over 50 universities internationally.
Wacker Chemie AG and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have maintained a close partnership in silicon chemistry since 2006. We are sponsoring the Institute of Silicon Chemistry, which we founded and which is and located on the Garching research campus near Munich, with a total of €8.5 million.
WACKER is taking part in the German Federal Ministry of Education’s national scholarship program (“Deutschlandstipendium”). This program provides students with a monthly stipend of €300, half of which is contributed by the Federal Government and half by private donors (companies, individuals). In 2019 and 2020, a total of 26 students at eleven different colleges and universities were awarded national scholarships funded by WACKER.
We give awards to the top engineering and bioengineering graduates at the Technical University of Dortmund in order to support the most talented students in these fields early on and to put our company on their radar.
WACKER has been recognized as a Fair Company (website available in German only). Key factors for receiving this seal of approval is feedback from interns which is then assessed by the Fair Company Initiative. The initiative was established by Germany’s Handelsblatt and WirtschaftsWoche business newspapers in order to place young people in internships that abide by the Fair Company rules. These include a prohibition on replacing full-time employees with interns. Internships should instead be geared toward career development and offered primarily during training periods. Even after a former WACKER apprentice goes on to study or do an internship somewhere else, the company systematically stays in touch, providing such young people with information on new developments at WACKER, including suitable job offers. Plus, the students then have a contact at WACKER if they are interested in joining the company after they finish their degree.
Building the Future with KIT
WACKER has been supporting a project by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) to build up an innovation platform for sustainable construction since 2020. The “ChangeLab! WACKER/KIT Innovation Platform for Pioneering Sustainable Construction” project offers public lectures, symposiums, ideas competitions and research seminars. We organize seminars with WACKER ACADEMY’s support. The joint research seminar “Building the Future” in which master’s students are creating an innovation house in cooperation with WACKER, started at the beginning of the 2020/2021 winter semester. The aim is to promote innovations that reduce the environmental impact of building components and increase their durability, recyclability and sustainability.
A branch of the Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences, Campus Burghausen (German-language website only) has been using labs at our Burghausen Vocational Training Center since 2019. We support Campus Burghausen with donations of items such as lab coats and safety glasses. Students and instructors can also make use of our technical library.
At the 2019 hackathon, WACKER Greater China assisted students of the Zhejiang University who won a Best Business Potential Award for their degradable-plastics concept. 2019 was the second time we had supported Techfest Munich (webpage available in German only), organized by the innovation center for startups at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The “Immortar Journey” team that developed a hand mixer – equipped with sensors and an app – for Wacker Chemie AG for applying high-tech mortars, won first place.